THE IDAHO PTECH NETWORK

Connecting the dots between learning
and employment.

K12 Inc. Partners with Idaho Manufacturing & Tech Leaders to Launch College and Career Readiness Academy

This article in Market Watch of The Wall Street Journal sparked a lot of team discussion about the similarities and differences of this program to the Idaho PTECH Network.

"The state's first of-its-kind, online public charter school will provide opportunities for students to obtain technical and specialty trade skills by offering four years of occupational training in an industry strand of their choice. Programs will emulate the Idaho State Career Clusters, which aim to improve student achievement by connecting school and the workplace, thus making school relevant for students. The initial programs will include: Business Administration, Manufacturing, Web Development, and Healthcare. The intent of the school is to develop a sequence of instruction that teaches students occupational skills while ultimately providing a pathway to job opportunities or to a technical college program upon graduation."

For example, the program is *not* providing a postsecondary credential. They are merely an online version of Meridian Tech Charter or Meridian Health Charter. The postsecondary credential is missing. And as we all know, none of these industries entertain postsecondary-credential-less job candidates.

This program will "emulate the Idaho State Career Clusters... Business Administration, Manufacturing, Web Development, and Healthcare." We have been feeling our way around the question of how to make PTECH Idaho flexible enough to deal with any shift in industry presence. Is it valuable to consider the Idaho State Career Clusters when looking ahead to viable industries 5-10 years down the road? 

IDCCRA as an acronym is a mouthful and we imagine confusing and unclear to students. We hope to create something with enormous tangibility, where the upside is clear and compelling, where the promise is people-centered and the name itself isn't alienating to the students. Can we use this as an opportunity to name storm?

We are curious about your thoughts. What do you like about it? What do you not like about it? How do you want P-TECH Idaho to be different from this?